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Prolonged Exposure (PE)
Therapy in Franklin, TN

Prolonged exposure is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that teaches you to gradually approach trauma-related memories, feelings, and situations. When you work with your therapist in a safe, graduated fashion to face stimuli and situations that evoke fear and remind you of trauma to gradually increase your comfort level and therefore reduce your fear. It is commonly used in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Stressed Woman

Most people want to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma they experienced, but doing so reinforces their fear. By facing what has been avoided, a person can decrease symptoms of PTSD by actively learning that the trauma-related memories and cues are not dangerous and do not need to be avoided.

Symptoms or signs of PTSD

If you begin to experience extreme mood swings or find yourself blatantly avoiding people, places, activities, or events, even ones that you used to enjoy, that may the first warning signs of PTSD. There are other signs to look out for as well:

  • Difficulty controlling emotions that results in explosive anger or unexplained periods of sadness,

  • Constant feelings of shame or guilt which may come be due to being the sole survivor among a group that experienced the same trauma,

  • Periodic loss of attention and concentration such as dissociation from the things around you,

  • Physical symptoms such as headaches and dizziness,

  • Relationship difficulties such as the inability to trust others. and

  • Self-isolation which enables you to feel safe.

What happens during Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy?

TalkDr Christian Counseling will meet with you typically over a period of about three months with weekly individual sessions, resulting in eight to 15 sessions overall. Sixty to 120-minute sessions are usually needed in order for the individual to engage in exposure and sufficiently process the experience.

Our therapists will work to understand your past experiences and work with you to help you handle your anxiety. After the assessment and initial session, exposure begins. As this is very anxiety-provoking for most patients, the therapist works hard to ensure that the therapy relationship is perceived to be a safe space. Both imaginal and in vivo exposure are utilized at the pace dictated by you.

  • Imaginal exposure occurs in session with you describing the event in detail in the present tense with guidance from the therapist. Together, you and the therapist discuss and process the emotion raised by the imaginal exposure in the session.

  • In vivo exposure, you confront the fear outside of therapy as homework. You and the therapist identify a range of possible stimuli and situations connected to your traumatic fear, such as specific places or people. You and your therapist agree on which stimuli to confront as part of in vivo exposure and devise a plan to do so between sessions. You are encouraged to challenge yourself but to do so in a graduated fashion so as to experience some success in confronting feared situations and coping with the associated emotion it triggers.

What other PTSD treatment programs does TalkDr Christian Counseling provide?

TalkDr Christian Counseling utilizes a variety of approaches for the treatment of PTSD. Below are some examples: 

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Talk therapy (psychotherapy) is when you work with mental health counselor in a structured way, attending a limited number of sessions. CBT helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way.

  • Group Therapy: Similar to talk therapy, sessions take place with a group of others that are dealing with PTSD. 

  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): While used for PTSD, EMDR is also useful for complex trauma treatment. This treatment records positive shifts in as little as 3-12 treatment sessions.

  • Trauma Prayer: is a prayer technique that helps heal childhood trauma. The trauma prayer can be used with long-term, difficult-to-heal conditions - especially for conditions that have not been healed from past prayers, counseling, or medical interventions.

Break free from PSTD

If Post Traumatic Stress Disorder therapy sounds like the perfect opportunity for you to break free, please contact TalkDr Christian Counseling in Franklin, Tennessee for a free 15-minute phone consultation email us or call 615-985-TALK

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